This time there was no rust. The Blue Jackets well-rested after a four-day break between games scored three times in the first period and overwhelmed the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 last night in the First Niagara Center. The Jackets looked nothing like the team that exited an eight-day break between their final exhibition and their season opener by playing a step behind the Calgary Flames in a 4-3 loss last week. Instead it was the Jackets’ speed and opportunism that flummoxed the Sabres who opened the season with three regulation losses for the first time and fell to 0-4-1. Marian Gaborik had a goal and two assists and Cam Atkinson Brandon Dubinsky and Nick Foligno scored for the Jackets whose top line of Dubinsky Atkinson and Gaborik combined for six points. “We were focused on making sure we came out with such a good start because you learn from the past” Foligno said. “That’s the good thing about our team. We have enough character to learn from our mistakes.” Atkinson opened the scoring with his first goal at 1:51 of the first. Buffalo left wing Thomas Vanek answered with a wicked between-the-legs move that made it 1-1 with at 8:50. But Foligno a Buffalo native banked a puck off the blade and skate of a pair of Buffalo defenders at 16:35. Gaborik finished a two-on-one with Atkinson at 18:48 and the rout was on. Dubinsky made it 4-1 when he converted a long rebound at 2:11 of the second. The Blue Jackets (2-1) had two other potential scoring plays reviewed and struggled on the power play (0 of 4) to spare the Sabres further embarrassment although a large portion of an announced crowd of 18210 didn’t stick around for the third period.
Blue Jackets Feast on Buffalo, 4-1
The Cannon | Oct 11